After 53 years working in Catholic education as a teacher Dubbo's St Pius X College principal Heather Irwin is set to retire next year.
Although Ms Irwin is excited to have a break from a life-time of studying, teaching, and hard work to focus on herself, new-found hobbies and friends and family, she said she would miss her role at St Pius after an astonishing 22 years.
Ms Irwin started her career as an English teacher in India, she said at the time she wasn't required to have a qualification, but teaching was something that always resonated with her.
"My mother was a teacher for many years in India, her brother was a teacher and a principal, and her sister was a teacher, so from a little girl I had wanted to be a teacher," Ms Irwin said.
"After I left school, my mother asked if they had a job for me at the school she was working at, not as a teacher, because I wasn't qualified, but as an assistant.
"I ended up teaching English."
That was the start of Ms Irwin's journey teaching, and from there, she worked hard to achieve her qualifications while also working as a teacher during summer education programs, eventually earning a Masters Degree.
"I believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to, as long as you have a goal," Ms Irwin said.
One of Ms Irwin's most inspiring moments of her career was the gratitude her mother received from one of her former students in India.
"One of the students my mother taught in India, his name is Hajii, he later became a doctor," she said.
"One day he rang my mother, and he told her, I'm where I am today because of you, and he wanted to buy her a house in Australia.
"My mother said no, but he insisted. So that's the impact you can have on some of your students."
Ms Irwin said one thing she has always strived for as principal was to make the school a happy environment.
"If someone a staff member isn't happy they're not going to be able to do their job well, and if a student isn't happy they won't learn," she said.
Ms Irwin said she might learn to play the guitar after retirement, but besides that, she plans on relaxing. Applicants for a principal at St Pius are open until Friday. Ms Irwin said they are looking for someone qualified, who will continue to make the school a happy place.